Actually I don't have one... all my sites have different themes based on the look, colors, layout and style I think appropriate for that topic.
Thesis, premiumpress , woo
But, if your just getting off to building your sites or expanding into the options that premium themes offer, I think elegant themes might do well for you as the cost covers dozens of themes rather than just one.
I use the theme, the morning after. I've tried different ones, but this one, in my opinion, is far better. Feel free to check it out.
I like the simplicity of Thirty Twenty. It is also the easiest and cleanest to work with.
I also like the customization of Atahualpa, but I have found that it can be quirky when using different plugins.
Genesis like it's used by Darren Rowse of problogger.net. The theme is super clean and cheaper than Thesis.
I use the Shutterloop free responsive theme for my photography blog, the theme is clean and minimal style, the theme release by responsivedeck.com.
SWIFT, it is free, and very versatile. A good online friend recommended it to me for my first website, and I have now used it successfully for 2 sites.
It's also slow, though that probably isn't obvious to you unless you use Pingdom tools.
Speed is one of the parameters Google uses, so speed of loading is very important. If you're using a slow-loading theme, you may be missing out on traffic without knowing it.
Here's an illuminating article on premium themes and site speed. Scroll down to the comments to find comparisons of several themes, you may be surprised at the results.
http://foliovision.com/2011/03/paid-wor … gantthemes
I'm loving Hybrid themes right now. They're free, but you have to pay $29 to get support. It's well worth paying, because "support" doesn't come close to describing what you get. Say you want to customise an aspect of a theme - post on the support forum and they'll write the code for you! amazing.
Interesting because SWIFT is what Eric Graudins uses (and recommended to me), and he is an expert on this kind of stuff as you know. Can't say I have ever noticed SWIFT being slow, and I didn't have the time to read all the comments on your link as there were loads of them. A quick skim through and I didn't see any reference to SWIFT but I could have missed it of course. Without knowing who made any comments about SWIFT being slow it is hard to know how reliable their comment/comments were. Will look into it further and see what I can find out.
Perhaps, there is some confusion about which Swift theme you are each referring too
I also have used the Swift Theme of Swift Themes. It is the backbone of the Xobba.com site but not much remains of that clean, no frills theme on that particular example.
If you peek at the top of that page you will some metrics regarding the base Swift theme. It is fast.
It was Swift. Maybe it depends what you do with it.
You've kept the Xobba site clean, white and plain. Swift has a lot of customization options and I used them to add colour, background images etc.
Using Pingdom, I found that the basic Swift theme was certainly fast if I ran a bare-bones site. However I then tried it with my customizations set up, and compared that with an Artisteer theme I was using. Swift was slower.
This is basically what that article was saying - with premium themes, you pay a price for all the options available. My experience seems to be that if you don't take advantage of those options, the theme runs fast: but if you do call those options, they're less efficient than a theme which is designed with a header, background etc. built in.
I like Graphene, which is free, because I can choose different types of layout and insert my own header images very easily.
Where my sites are hosted, I cannot do any editing of the coding, or if it is somehow possible, I do not know how anyway. As far as my needs are concerned, Graphene does away with any need to do so.
I had tried a couple of other themes and got very frustrated. It was a huge relief when I found Graphene.
Standard "Twenty Twelve" is the backbone of Appstorechronicle.com but with the amount of design mods and plugin I have, it's practically unrecognizable.
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